The introduction of self-serve as the central tenant of Greenplum’s EDC initiative is a breath of fresh air for everyone involved and opens the door to new kinds of practices, use cases, and collaboration that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
whurley: Are there going to be issues with moving customers on proprietary data warehousing solutions on to enterprise data clouds?
Yara: Most companies have hundreds or thousands of data marts in addition to any central EDW [enterprise data warehouse]. Initially we’re focusing on making it easy to bring those smaller silos into the EDC -- i.e., just pump across the raw data without any modification to the data model -- so that companies can consolidate these and start querying them or pointing BI tools at them with minimal disruption. These marts tend to have less complex integrations with BI and ETL tools, and are a much easier place to start than a larger central store.
Even more importantly, our customers want to use EDC to bring in a range of raw data -- such as event streams, telco CDRs, and transactions -- and allow analysts to create sandboxes and start putting that data to work. So they will be able to do new analysis and will quickly be encouraged to move other silos into the EDC because of the combined value.
whurley: Can you give us an idea of the cost of creating and maintaining an enterprise data cloud?
Yara: From a software cost perspective, the EDC is not a separate product or cost item from Greenplum. There is no premium from our point of view. From a cost of software perspective, the most flexible option is to buy a subscription by capacity (in Terabytes) and expand that as needed. It is no more expensive to carve up 100 Terabytes into 100 warehouses than to run it as one big warehouse.
From an operational standpoint, customers building an on-premise EDC (as we’d expect most to initially) start by assembling a pool of tens, hundreds, or more commodity servers. Then from there they provision warehouses as needed.
We expect EDC to lead to more streamlined IT operation of data warehouses, better utilization, and higher service levels.
whurley: Some consider Oracle to be behind the 8-ball with Exadata being a late commer to the market. What are your thoughts on how Greenplum's solution stacks up?
Yara: Exadata is essentially Oracle RAC with some storage enhancements in an appliance form factor. Customers have been skeptical of Exadata because they are very familiar with the limitations of Oracle’s database in high-scale data warehousing environments, and they see more of the same with Exadata. We saw some initial interest in Exadata, but we don’t generally see them in competitive situations.